New LinkedIn Personal Profile Page On the Way…

Yep – we’ve only just getting used to the new LinkedIn Company Page – and bamb! this week they’re announcing the new personal profile page.

Whilst the Company Page update was rolled out to everyone at once, they’re taking a more gradual approach to the new Profile Pages. (the profile page is your personal page). [Read more…]

5 Mistakes to Avoid in eCommerce Social Media

On Tuesday I hosted two roundtables at the Catex DCA Spring Conference. Each round table was focused on “Social Media in eCommerce”, a key topic in each of the roundtables was the mistakes that have been made and that should be avoided.

So here’s my top 5 mistakes to avoid if you’re running social media for an ecommerce business:

  1. Don’t commit to it.
    A social media profile where nothing’s happened in a while reflects badly on any brand. If you’re going to use social media you need to fully commit to it, it’s not just a project for the intern or work experience kid to do (just look what happened to Habitat).
    Not only do you need to commit to do it properly, you need to dedicate enough time to it – it can take 6-12 months to build the followership and interaction that will make it worthwhile. So don’t enter into social media half-heartedly, you’re either in or you’re not.
  2. Ignore your customers.
    Possibly the worst thing an ecommerce business can do in social media is to ignore their customers. If your customers ask questions, query orders etc – you need to respond. And you need to respond in a timely fashion – within a business day.
  3. Only do Social Media for the SEO benefit.
    Yes, we all know that Google is using activity on social media to work out what site appears where in the search engine results. We know that Google+ is going to be an important part of any SEO strategy. But they will only work for SEO if you’re using them properly for Social Media – because it’s about conversations and interactions, not just about what you post.
  4. Kick it off without a strategy.
    If you haven’t researched your customers and social media, if you haven’t worked out how you’re going to use the tools, if you haven’t worked out what content you’re going to talk about – then you need to do all of that before you start.
    As the old saying goes, “fail to plan, plan to fail”
  5. Kick it off without a social media policy.
    The biggest mistakes happen when silly things are done. A tweet containing the F-word and insulting the people of Detroit is sent out on Chrysler’s account, a comedy news-story tie-in goes far outside what’s acceptable. And when this happens on social media it’s usually out there before you’ve realised – and then beyond your control.
    To avoid this you need to make sure you’ve got a clear social media policy, and also thoroughly train everyone involved in managing the content.

Hopefully that’s a useful checklist of things to avoid – please add more below!

If you’d like to learn more about Social Media why not attend one of our half-day workshops?

Facebook Friday App Review – PromoBoxx

Promoboxx is an online retail platform which helps brands and local retailers join forces to drive online shoppers to stores. It can be used in conjunction with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and websites.

At the heart of Promoboxx is a “promotion creation” interface, which allows users to quickly and easily set up sweepstakes, product giveaways, coupons and sign up forms. This highly intuitive interface works incredibly well. I had a go at setting up each type of promotion and had them up and running in a matter of minutes.

You start off by entering a name, duration, header logo and URL for your promotion. To enter your promotion name and URL you simply type them in. Header logos can be uploaded as jpg, .jpeg, .gif, or .png file types and promo durations can be set via an easy to use drop down menu system that lets you enter start/end date and times for your promotions.

Once you’ve finished entering the basic details of your promotion you can start building your entry form. The base entry form template includes name, email address and telephone number fields. To make changes to your entry form you simply hover over the relevant fields and click edit or remove. If you want to add even more detail to your entry form there’s a host of additional fields to choose from on the right side of the screen. These can be added to your entry form simply by clicking on them. With so many fields to choose from you should be able to capture some really good data.

Following the entry form screen you move to another screen that lets you type in information about your prize, coupon etc. Here you can enter a title, description, value and more. From there you go to a “Rules” screen where you can set up the rules and privacy policy for your promotion. Getting this bit right is particularly important if you’re planning to run a competition via Facebook as they’re policies are very stringent. If you’d rather not type in your rules/privacy policy you can elect to enter URL’s to where they are or you can use the official Promoboxx rules/privacy policy templates.

On the final screen of the interface you can make tweaks to the design of your promotions entry page and thank you page. You can insert images, add widgets and make changes to the colour scheme by entering relevant hex decimal codes. There’s also rather neat countdown clock which lets people know when your promotion will come to an end.

Closing Comments

All-in-all Promoboxx is great tool. It’s incredibly easy to use and takes no time at all to organise, making it an ideal solution for those who want to create quality social promotions without having to dedicate masses of time.

Turn your LinkedIn Profile into an Infographic CV

Just been playing with this rather cool new tool from Visualize.me that with a couple of clicks turns your LinkedIn profile into a very cool, visual, CV.

See mine – unfortuantely it’s still in Beta and you can’t yet download it as a pdf or an image or anything. But it’s certainly a way to make the more complex CV easier to understand – the timelines in particular are very useful.

It is currently in Beta, so you have to request an invite (my came through within minutes) and you can do that here.

Play Tetris with your Linkedin Contacts

What a great idea!! And highly addictive.

During a recent Hackday at Linkedin one of the team has come up with a version of Tetris that you can play using your Linkedin connections as the bricks.

Linkedin Game

It’s called “Dropin” and is very easy to play, although it is quite distracting when someone you’ve fogotten you’re connected to just pops up.

Top 5 LinkedIn Groups Online Marketers should follow

It’s been a year since we last posted the top 5 LinkedIn groups for online marketers, and a lot has changed since then so here is the re-invigorated top 5 LinkedIn groups for marketers (according to me)!

  1. Social Media Marketing

The largest and most active social media group on LinkedIn.com with over 168,000 members and about 20 special interest subgroups which include groups focusing on non-profit social media, email marketing and social media and social media design and creativity. There are some really good insightful discussions on here if you scroll through them all. They also have strict rules on what counts as spam so the content is always fresh and easily readable.

  1. Search Engine Land

The renowned website Search Engine Land has its own group on LinkedIn and with over 21,000 members it acts as a must-read hub for everything SEO, PPC, and any other programs that Google, Yahoo and Bing run. Discussions range from simple top level discussions to more in-depth technical queries. [Read more…]

Upcoming UK Social Media Conferences…

With social media marketing finding a firm place in many companies’ marketing campaigns – and for those that aren’t already using social media marketing, the strong likelihood is they’re thinking about it – making sure you’re up-to-date with the latest techniques, ideas, developments and pitfalls is imperative.

Thanks to the rise in focus on social media marketing, there are more and more social media conferences to help you ensure you’re fully aware of what does and doesn’t work and where you should and shouldn’t put the focus for your market in social media marketing.

Here are some of the upcoming conferences for social media:

14 June – Social Media Influence, London
How to employ creative content and technological innovation to learn what your customers really care about and so move beyond the traditional campaign mentality.
http://socialmediainfluence.com/conference2011/index.html

29/30 June – Online marketing show, London
Not a bespoke social media conference but there will certainly be a strong presence of this latest channel.
http://www.onlinemarketingshow.co.uk/

19 September – Social Media marketing and Monitoring, London
Exploring the latest social media tools and techniques.
http://www.oursocialtimes.com/events/index.html

20 September – Social media for CEOs, London
The “ultimate social media event for CEOs and Directors”.
http://www.oursocialtimes.com/events/index.html

And if you’re looking further afield, then take a look at this list for details on which international social media conferences will be best for you and your business:
http://www.socialmedia.biz/2011/01/03/2011-conferences-social-media-tech-marketing/

A comparison of Groupon-esque social commerce offerings and potential threats to Groupon market share

Social commerce is making huge waves in the world of online commerce, and the word on everyone’s tongue is Groupon, the ruler of a land where competition didn’t seem to exist.

That is until now. When Groupon turned down billions offered by Google to buy them, they stirred a hornets’ nest and now there are a myriad of these social commerce sites all pecking at the market share of Groupon.

What exactly is social commerce?
Social commerce is a form of e-commerce where the emphasis is on the use of social media platforms that promote social interaction and buying.

How does Groupon work?
Groupon, by promising businesses a minimum number of customers, get discounts you won’t find anywhere else. They call it “collective buying power” and this is the power that some companies are trying to steal from them. When you sign up you enter your city and your email address and from there you’ll receive emails advertising what deals are around in your area.  If not enough people sign up to buy a certain deal, then the deal will get cancelled.

The main social commerce contenders
The main contenders for the crown are Facebook Deals , Google Offers and LivingSocial.

OnlineMBA.com have created this great infographic that compares the main players, just click to enlarge:


[Read more…]

Which social media blogger to use – Tumblr, Posterous, Paper.li?

Blogging is in resurgence, largely because the way people are blogging and what they are blogging about has changed over recent years. Focus has shifted from text heavy blogs on particular subjects, to people posting whatever they want, whenever they want, quickly and easily evidenced through the upsurge in use of “micro blogging” platforms. Micro blogging is a simpler, easier to update blog, perfect for those who don’t need lots of features.

Tumblr vs Posterous

Tumblr and Posterous are the two most prominent micro blogging platforms. [Read more…]

LinkedIn new tool – InMaps

Today LinkedIn unveiled their latest labs project – InMaps.

LinkedIn InMap

It only takes a couple of minutes to set up, and it doesn’t cost a penny.

The one above is my InMap – it shows all the people I’m connected to on Linkedin and how they’re interconnected too. So the coloured areas are groups of people from different areas of my life. I’m quite impressed at how accurate it’s been.

On the real version (click the image above to get there) you can zoom in and out, plus I’ve named the colour coding! (very exciting!).

There is also a link there to get your own made up…